Workshop on European Studies at Community Colleges

With the support of the Getting to Know Europe Grant of the European Union and of the Title VI Grant of the United States Federal Department of Education, IES closed its fall program with a workshop introducing community college faculty to the various resources and research being done in the field of European Studies. Following a presentation on Brexit research materials given by James A. Church, Librarian at UC Berkeley’s Doe Library, a number of PhD students spoke about their research.

Christin Zurbach (Dept. History) first presented on her paper “’The Undiscovered Country’: the 1923 Population Exchange between Greece and Turkey,” in which she highlighted the effects of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of nationalist thinking in Greece and Turkey. She also pointed to the potential parallels to be drawn between the refugee crisis that resulted and the Syrian one of today.

Later, Konrad Posch (Dept. Political Science) introduced participants to the idea that “capitalism” and “welfare” exist in different varieties, providing a practical framework within which to analyze and understand the differences between the political economies of advanced industrial democracies.

Finally, Anna Levett (Dept. Comparative Literature, Univ. North Carolina) gave an overview to the surrealist concept of “mad love,” arguing that it did not originate in Europe but, rather, in the Middle East. Ultimately, she demonstrated how historical narratives can be both constructed and challenged.

For the fifteen participants, the day offered an enlightening glimpse of the diverse nature of the field of European Studies as well as provided the tools necessary to become involved in such research.